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Theater and Political Process
Staging Identities in Tokelau and New Zealand
220 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-57181-583-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2004)
eISBN 978-1-78920-423-0 eBook
“…succeeds admirably as an investigation into the experiences and effects of migration and displacement on social and political structures of a Polynesian society in the late 20th century conveyed through forms of expressive culture.” · Ethnos
“Hoëm’s ethnography is sure-footed, subtle and comprehensive, and has the additional virtue of being backed by a considerable body of primary texts…a valuable contribution to the understanding of Tokelau culture in its various manifestations as well as of some of the processes by which social changes are continuously negotiated.” · The Journal of the Polynesian Society
"The book is …rich in discussions of Pacific anthropologists and theories of space and migration, but I feel that it stands out as a deeply humane and informative ethnography of the Tokelau people and their self-presentation in the modern Pacific." · JRAI
The Argonauts in the Pacific, famous through Malinowski's work, have not been exempt from general historical developments in the world around them. By focusing on two plays performed by the Tokelau Te Ata, a theater group, the author reveals the self-perceptions of the Tokelau and highlights the dynamic relationship between issues of representation and political processes such as nation building, infrastructural changes and increased regional migration. It is through an analysis of communicative practices, which the author carried out in the home atolls and in the diasporic communities in New Zealand, that we arrive at a proper understanding of how global processes affect local institutions and everyday interaction.
Ingjerd Hoëm is Head of the Institute for Pacific Archaeology and Cultural History, Kon-Tiki Museum.